The New York Mets are a franchise that regardless of on the field accomplishments, lives in the shadow of the New York Yankees. New York is the epitome of a baseball town. Since the New York Highlanders to the New York Giants, to the Brooklyn Dodgers, New Yorker’s love their baseball. Met fans are individuals, who simply do not like the Yankees. I know this because some of my closest friends are Met fans. However, the franchise, led by the Wilpon’s, is a disgrace to not only their fans, but to baseball. This is why the Mets are amazing.
We can all agree the last bright spot in Mets history was the 2000 World Series. Of course they lost to their cross-town rivals, but they made it to the World Series. No New York baseball fan will forget the broken bat incident between Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza. However, since that season, the Mets downward spiral has become almost unfathomable.
The Mets just released Louis Castillo while still owing $6 million on his salary. Ask your average Met fan, and they’re happy to see him go. Jose Reyes does not seem to be the player many had hoped for. To be fair, he is injury prone. David Wright is without doubt the one bit of hope for this team. Yet at some point, he may leave and who would blame him?
One may think at first the state of the Mets is simply a managerial and player problem. The Mets cannot find the right mix of talent and leadership to get it right. However, what is most disturbing is the Mets problems are endemic to the organization. The realization the fallout from the Bernie Madoff scandal will greatly impact the Mets finances is heartbreaking to the Mets fans. I will not say I’m sympathetic to millionaire players who, at worst case, can be picked up by another team. However, it is disappointing as some excellent players such as David Wright are losing valuable playing years.
The financial problems the Mets franchise faces is sad because the people who will suffer, are the lower level employees of the organization. The secretaries in the front office, the ticket booth personnel, the beer guy trudging up and down the stands. They do not make seven-figure salaries. The fans suffer because they love their team. That is what a fan does. If a fan does not feel the team loves him or her back, that fan doesn’t buy tickets or jerseys or the beer. Case in point: the Tampa Bay Rays.
We all understand that baseball is first and foremost a business. However, this business exists because we all possess a love for the game. I hope, for the sake of the fans, the players, and the beer guy, the Mets will find a way to resurrect their franchise. Then, they will truly be amazing.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!
All statistical data from espn.go.com.